ON THE CHANGE OF REFRANGIBILITY OF LIGHT. 343
140. A solution of nitrate of uranium in water is decidedly sensitive, though not sufficiently so to exhibit much dispersive reflexion. When the dispersed beam is analysed it is resolved into bright bands. When the solution is examined in a pure spectrum, the mode of dispersion is found to agree with that of canary glass. The dispersion commences abruptly at the same part of the spectrum as in the case of the glass, and after a rather narrow band in which light is copiously dispersed, there follows a remarkable minimum of sensibility, just as in the glass (see Art. 76), where the dispersed light is almost imperceptible. After this the dispersion is resumed, and offers nothing remarkable. The minimum of sensibility occurs at the very same place in the spectrum, whether the sensitive medium be a solution of nitrate of uranium or glass coloured yellow by uranium.
141. Yellow Uranite.—This mineral, when examined in a linear spectrum, proved to be sensitive in an extremely high degree. The derived spectrum consisted, as in the case of the glass, of bright bands arranged at regular intervals, but in this case six were seen, a band being visible in the faint red at the extremity of the spectrum which could not be made out in the case of the glass.
142. Green Uranite, or Chalcolite.—According to M. Peligot the formula of the yellow uranite of Autun is PhO5, CaO, 2(U2020), 8HO, and the green uranite differs from the yellow only in having the lime replaced by oxide of copper*. Yet a specimen of green uranite on being examined in a linear spectrum proved totally insensible. The primitive spectrum showed however a very remarkable system of dark bands depending on the absorption of light by the mineral. In examining these bands, the previous prismatic decomposition of the light, so far from being necessary, is decidedly inconvenient. It is better to dispense with the prisms altogether, using only the lens, and placing the mineral so that the image of the slit is formed upon it. The bright line thus formed is viewed from a convenient distance through a prism, the eye being held out of the direction of regular reflexion. The position of any bands which may appear in the spectrum can then be determined by means of the fixed lines, which are seen at
* Annales de Chimie, Tom. v. (1842), p. 46.